Chinatown residents on alert after police warn of violent robberies

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Some people in Chicago's Chinatown neighborhood are becoming increasingly concerned after police issued warnings about an increase in robberies in the area. (WLS)

Some people in Chicago's Chinatown neighborhood are becoming increasingly concerned after police issued warnings about an increase in robberies in the area.

"I'm very aware of my surroundings. I keep my ears to the ground and anything that goes on around me, I report it to police," said Kevin Pak, a Chinatown resident.

Police won't say when they noticed the increase or offer many details about the nighttime attacks, but say the most recent robbery occurred in the last couple of days and almost always begins with the victim being violently struck or knocked down from behind.

"Be aware of your surroundings. You can't walk down the street with your face in your iPhone, you're drawing attention to yourself and that's what these offenders look for," 9th District Cmdr. Daniel Godsel said.

Police have increased patrols and focused their efforts near public transportation and other spots. The owners of several casino shuttle buses operating pickup and drop-off locations almost 24 hours a day, are warning their customers about the dangers, too.

"They tell you keep your eyes open and stuff when there is problems," said Gary Luka, a casino patron.

Police are using post card flyers to alert residents about the crimes. And because Chinatown is a popular destination known for its vibrant culture and restaurant nightlife, neighborhood community organizations have been enlisted to help get the word out.

"At least we can tell our community that these are the things that's happening and we're not standing by, doing nothing about it," said Bernie Wong, Chinese American Action League.

Police say they are having some short-term success with those additional patrols, and there is some talk of putting together a citizens' patrol during the nighttime hours.

Related Topics:
chicago crimechicago police departmentChicago - Chinatown
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